After a season with 12 wins last semester, Truman State’s women’s soccer team traveled to Ireland. With Truman’s switch to the GLVC last year, the team had a chance to improve and advance within the conference ranking. The team made a total of 30 goals throughout the season, averaging about two goals per game.
Last semester the team placed second in the GLVC right behind Quincy University. The team received a bid to play in the NCAA tournament. They made it to the first round but lost to RockhurstUniversity2-0. Although the team lost, their inspiration to come back and perform stays strong.
The team started with 10 freshmen during 2013. With the newfound success in the GLVC, the inspiration and determination for great games has continued to increase.
“Our success last semester built up our confidence and made us realize that not only winning our conference but that making it to the NCAA tournament is within our reach,” sophomore Megan Casserly said.
After the season ended last semester, the team lost eight senior players, including starting goalkeeper Emily Bozdeck. Going into the new season, the team has only four seniors, which will allow the younger girls to step up and make an immediate impact on the team. Assistant coach Suzanne Pelley said this helps build the team because it spreads out the responsibility.
This summer, the team traveled to Ireland. The NCAA allows teams to do this about every four years. Pelley said this is a great opportunity for the team to experience other cultures as well as play the game they love in a new region. Truman’s men’s soccer team and women’s volleyball team also played in Ireland this summer.
Because of NCAA Athletic regulations and most of the team being in Ireland, the team did not have the chance to practice together during the summer months. However, head coach Mike Cannon has routines for the girls to stay conditioned.
Sophomore Allie Gentry said the team has to keep working 110 percent every day, not just for themselves, but for every girl on the team.
When it comes to goals, each player has an individual one, but they all work together to make the team as whole as it can be. Gentry said her plan is to set her goals high and to be the hardest working player on and off the field.
“When I’m playing soccer, nothing else distracts me and I just keep my focus on making myself a better soccer player,” Gentry said.
Casserly shares similar goals to Gentry. She said she thinks of every practice as if it were an actual game, forcing her to give her all. Being mentally prepared is important to playing soccer, almost as important as being physically prepared, Casserly said.
Heading back into a new season, the stakes are high for the team. After making it to the NCAA tournament last semester, the girls now know just how far they can go. Casserly said she’s excited to get back into the routine of school and soccer because she understands her team can be successful. From here it depends on how hard the team works during preseason and how training went for everyone during the summer, Casserly said.
As the new season starts and new players join, Pelley said the ultimate goal is to improve and surpass the accomplishments of prior years.
“It’s difficult to improve when you are already near the top, but we’re so close to reaching it,” Pelley said.
Pelley said this depends on what works and what does not. From a couple games into the season, the coaches will understand what needs to be changed and what is working.
Gentry said her hope is to make it back to the GLVC championship and claim the title. The team is like a family, Gentry said, and that is what makes it strong.